Achieved cycle time goal of 124 seconds. System virtually eliminates weld spatter on pipe, and meets or exceeds quality requirements. Robotic system reduces direct labor requirement per shift by 50%, while improving throughput by 66.6% per hour (25 pipes vs. 15). Controllers have capability to be split into single robot controllers in the future if robots are redeployed.
- Process multiple configurations of steel irrigation pipe with 6”, 6-5/8” and 8-5/8” diameters in 19’, 24’ and 38’ lengths. Provide capability to add aluminum pipe in future. Pipe wall thickness is 2.54 mm (0.100”).
Pipes weigh up to 158.6 kg (350 lbs.).
- Plasma cut holes in the pipes for couplings, and weld 2-15 couplings, 4-8 angle brackets and 2 flanges to each pipe.
- Cycle time for processing a 38’ L, 6-5/8” dia. steel pipe with four couplings and eight brackets is approx. 124 seconds.
Motoman Robotics Solution
Motoman Robotics provided a custom 10-robot multiprocess system, including:
- (2) UP350-200 robots (MH and GMAW).
- (4) UP20 robots (PAC and MH).
- (4) UP20-6 robots (GMAW).
- (1) XRC 2001 DR2C (dual-robot) robot controller.
- (2) XRC 2001 QR4C (quad-robot) robot controllers.
- Infeed conveyor and part singulator (Customer supplied).
- (2) Custom end-of-arm tools and tool racks (for UP350-200s).
- (4) Custom end-of-arm tools (for UP20s).
- (4) Hypertherm Powermax® 1000 power supplies and (4) Hypertherm plasma cutting torches (for UP20s).
- (6) Miller Auto Axcess® 450 weld packages, (4) with Miller touch-sensing (for UP20-6s).
- (6) 500-Amp Motoman Tough Gun® water-cooled torch packages.
- (4) Reamer/sprayer nozzle cleaning stations.
- (2) MOTOPOS™ S400 headstock positioners with integral steady rests.
- Manual tailstock with integral steady rest – mounted on servo track.
- Servo track with 5.8-m (19-ft) stroke (for UP350-200, tailstock).
- (5) Pneumatic steady rests on pneumatic slides for pipe holding and removal. Slides adjust 100 mm (4”), as necessary.
- (2) Motoman MR-300 heavy-duty 180° reciprocating positioners with flange infeed nests.
- Gravity discharge chute and transfer system (Customer supplied).
- (4) Vibratory bowl feeders.
- Allen-Bradley SLC 5/05 PLC package with PanelView 1000 op station and PC touch-screen HMI.
- Cell guarding package, including wire safety fencing with six access gates; arc flash protection curtains; dual-channel safety PLC; light curtains; and remote E-stops.
Motoman Robotics provided custom end-of-arm tooling (robot grippers). Pneumatic grippers for UP350-200 robots include a parallel gripper for pipe handling, and a 3-jaw chuck that grabs flanges and also picks up the welding torch for flange-to-pipe welding. Pneumatic 2-jaw parallel grippers for UP20 robots grasp couplers and brackets and pick up the plasma torch, without changeover. MOTOPOS headstock positioners include spring-loaded pins to locate flanges and pneumatic paddles to clamp flanges during welding. Tapered knives center pipe during pipe/flange assembly. Cylinders eject pipe when done. Changeout between pipe diameters is minimal. Changeout components are color-coded in most instances.